There’s something immensely satisfying about watching the features which were once considered high-end, like fingerprint scanners and dual-cameras make their way down to the low end of the market. It’s a sign of immense competition and rampant evolution, but there are times when the move from high-end to universal can catch you off guard. Case in point? 18:9 screens.

Until now they’ve been the preserve of flagships like Google’s Pixel 2 XL, Samsung’s Galaxy S8/+/Note 8, LG’s V30 and the OnePlus 5T – all phones which saw release just a few short months ago, gaining plaudits for their easy-to-use form factors.

Now, in classic Xiaomi style, the 18:9 trend has made its way down to the budget Redmi line of smartphones, making their debut on the Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus, officially announced today.

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Looking an awful lot like a Pixel 2 XL from the front, the Redmi 5 and 5 Plus boast a Gorilla Glass coated 5.7″ 720p/5.99″ 1080p screen respectively in that tall-and-thin aspect ratio, whilst rounding off the design with beautiful colours metals and a circular (and central) fingerprint reader around the back.

Internally, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor for the Redmi 5 and a Snapdragon 625 for the Redmi 5 Plus, paired with either 2/3GB of RAM for the 5 or 3/4GB of RAM for the 5 Plus, depending on the specification you opt for. That should be enough to keep almost anyone ticking along nicely, and with a 3300mAh battery for the 5 and a 4000mAh battery for the 5 Plus, you should see a full day comfortably.

Around the back, the camera unit remains the same through both models. It’s an unnamed 12MP unit with 1.25 μm pixels, phase detection autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash. Selfie addicts will most likely be interested in the front-facing unit which is a 5MP sensor capable of 1080p video recording.

Rounding out the specifications are dual SIM support, MicroSD card support (in the second SIM slot) and 16/32GB of memory for the 5, compared to 32/64GB of memory for the Plus.

So, they’re clearly well specced, but what will you be looking to pay for them when they’re available on the 12th of December? The Redmi 5 starts at 799 yuan (around £90) for the base model with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, with 899 yuan (circa £101) netting you the upgraded 3GB/32GB model.

Meanwhile, the 5 Plus starts at 999 yuan (£110) for the 3GB/32GB model, with the top-of-the-range 4GB/64GB variant selling for 1299 yuan (around £145). Oh, and colours? You’re looking at blue, pink, black and gold. Nice!

That’s terrific value for phones which certainly look the part, but as always we’ll have to wait until the reviews roll in. To pre-order, head to one of our recommended resellers and start shopping.

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Ten fingers, five senses, one man, loads of Chinese smartphones.

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